About Jeff Vogel
Who does all this, anyway?
My name is Jeff Vogel, and I am responsible for the Avernum series, Nethergate, the Exile series, and Geneforge. I am a full-time shareware developer, currently (and quite happily) living in Seattle, WA. Born on April 23, 1970, I achieved the low point in my intellectual career when I attained a Masters in Applied Mathematics. Writing my first game, Exile, was a futile attempt to maintain my sanity during grad school. When it actually sold, I dropped grad school like a hot rock. I received minimal formal computer programming training, opting instead to learn programming by staring at a monitor until my eyes bled.
I have one wife, the radiant Mariann Krizsan, and two daughters. Cordelia Krizsan Vogel, born in January of 2002. Miranda Krizsan Vogel, born in March of 2006.
I've been an utter computer game fanatic since I first played Eamon on a friend's Apple II+. I started writing computer games when I was about 11, in order to make up for the fact that I could rarely afford to buy any of them. The utter devotion to games of all sorts I displayed as a child was very disturbing to my parents, although, now that I'm making a good living creating games, they feel a lot better about it.
Practically all my programming is done from noon to 6 PM and from midnight to 4 AM. The afternoon programming is done with the soothing sounds of Comedy Central and the Simpsons in the background. The late night stuff is done with Comedy Central playing on the telly. I say all of this only to make it absolutely clear I don't have a real job. We work in our basement here, with the TV always on, and we like it that way.
I am very proud of my status as a successful Indie game developer. I consider small scale games development to be a very cool thing, the sole outlet for a single person with a lot of time and a dream to create a program and make money at it. I am pleased that our kind is now earning a bit of respect (since Indie developers can now become jillionaires by putting their games on Real and the like). I have lost count of the times someone has asked me what I do for a living, I responded "I write games and sell them online," and they repeated the question. Of course, respect is something I can do with a modicum of, as long as the money keeps coming in.
In my spare time, I spend time with my wife and constant inspiration, Mariann Krizsan, play computer games, watch TV, go to plays and movies, take long, wet walks, and do other geek-friendly activities.
I am also a freelance writer. My first book, The Poo Bomb, was published by Andrews McMeel in 2005. I wrote the Grumpy Gamer column for Computer Games Magazine, write an intermittent column for RPG Vault, and have done other stuff too. If you are 18 or older, you can read large heaps of my writing at Irony Central. You can follow my current rants and gaming industry insights through my blog, the Bottom Feeder.